Thursday, September 23, 2010

E-Listening?

Remember the last time you were on the phone with a friend and they just sounded a little off or down. As a result of their tone, you asked them if they were okay. Subsequently they broke down and let you know they were feeling low for whatever reason. You talked through it and let them know you’d be there if they needed to talk more. In short, you were being a good friend.

In this same scenario, would you have noticed their tone had the conversation been via e-mail or text? Probably not.

I appreciate technology and all that it has brought to our lives. That said, are the very tools that were designed to connect us actually driving us further apart?

19 comments:

  1. Y-E-S! I think phone conversations are few and far between these days. Technology makes it EASIER for us to lose touch with family and friends we used to communicate with on a regular basis. Emails are great, but informal and you are SO right about texting too

    great post....I swear each time you post, you make me a better person :)

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  2. I think in some ways it brings us closer to the people who aren't "close " to us & maybe farther away from people we ARE close to... Thanks for making me think about this topic. You are good!

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  3. I 100% agree with you! Between texting, email, and Facebook there seems to be a real disconnect when it comes to in person communication. I see it in my younger brothers and sisters a lot because they grew up in the age of instant messaging and have had cell phones since high school. It's kind of scary to think that as a society we're more comfortably speaking through technology instead of with our voice.

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  4. Technology also tends to skew relationships where most kids/teens prefer techy talk because it's easier to chicken out of the reality of relationships.

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  5. I agree with what Kelly said above. I thank facebook for keeping me in touch and even building new relationships with people I might otherwise not even know well. On the flip side I think technology has given me a lazy excuse to avoid calling people at times as well. I'm such a home body that calling people is sometimes out of my comfort zone and texting, e-mailing etc. is easier. There are pros and cons for sure!

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  6. I agree that technology can separate us, but what about things like Skype. Over the phone, you still might not notice tone. But on Skype, you can see their face, you can put it all together like a face-to-face conversation. I connect with my family (who lives across the country) and to me, it's better than any simple phone call, Facebook, or text. It certainly doesn't replace being there in person, but it certainly bridges the gap.

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  7. Excellent question! You're right, there is no room for interpreting tone in an email or text.

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  8. Very true, you can't discern the tone of an email or text. Often, it is very easy to misinterpret it! But I do think it keeps people connected. I don't often have time to call or meet my out of town friends. A quick email or text can at least keep us up to date on our lives....until the next phone call when we REALLY catch up :)

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  9. Amen, sister! I have a friend since 8th grade and I can tell in one word when I answer the phone if something is wrong. I immediatly say, "what's wrong" and she starts sharing.
    Big Fat Mama

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  10. I find that I have to be really careful with my choice of words in e-mails, texts, etc. Sometimes, I'm afraid of coming off in a way I don't mean to. I joke a lot, but sometimes feel my humor may be misinterpreted or hurt someone's feelings. Therefore, I might not be able to express my true thoughts and feelings like I could over the phone or in person. i think e-mails and other forms of electronic communication have their place, but they do not (should not) take the place of an occasional phone call or face-to-face visit.

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  11. I know I won't ever understand the attraction to texting. My mother and I talk on the phone twice a day. We don't really have anything to tell each other, it's just the reassurance of hearing her voice - is she sick or sad? I can tell by how she answers the phone. It's more than you can ever get from an email. Maybe it will come back around someday and voices will be novel again.

    My husband always says that if texting had come first everyone would think it was dumb and outdated.

    I wrote a longer comment than I'd intended because I had to stick around and listen to "Somewhere Over the Rainbow"!

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  12. Wow TV! This is a great post! I think that technology has come far and allows us to stay in touch with one another, but the real heart and feeling comes through being together or simply listening on the phone. I think some people are so caught up in their lives that the easiest thing to do is to talk through technology. It is fast and easy. The real heart comes from taking the time to call or see someone and realy seeing how they are. It takes up a lot more time to truly be there. Have a great day my friend!

    Mama Hen

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  13. You are so right!! It is impossible to know how a person is feeling just from a text!

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  14. I do love the technology, but I hate how impersonal it can sometimes be. I look at the young kids today and think about how they are going to be socially "awkward" in some cases because they are so used to texting and Facebooking that they forget what an actual phone conversation is. The phone was ultimately the BEST invention ever and should never be replaced! Great post!

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  15. Hey TV, have a great day! :)

    Mama Hen

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  16. Wow, what a great post TV! When I was in high school, I talked on the phone with friends and loved it. Though the trend now is technology, I think deep down people crave more than emails and the like. Technology cannot replace the reassuring sound of a voice, the smile of a live face, or an appreciative pat on the back.

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  17. Yes! I think we are losing all that is personal in friendships via technology. I have one friend who will only text, when I call, I get VM. It's annoying, I just want to have a conversation. Not to mention that she often texts about things that should be talked about, not texted over. I think you have to use technology responsibly and know that there are situations that warrant a phone call. This is a sensitive subject for me, obviously. Bwahhaha!

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  18. Wow! YES! Well said and oh so true! Great post!!!

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  19. I have gotten into so much trouble with emails it's not even funny. And most of the time, if the conversation had been over the phone, a greater understanding would have been there. I completely agree that text and email allows us to disconnect. In some ways it's great! In other ways, it's sad that we want to avoid other people so much. I am guilty of this too, but I don't even know why.

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